By Christiana Ekpa and Ikechukwu Okaforadi
The Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaech has disclosed that, the central rail line project connecting several communities of northern and southern Nigeria would be completed by June next year.
Peoples Daily report that large portion of the central rail project which covers the Itakpe to Warri axis was initiated by the Obasanjo administration over a decade ago.
The Minister gave the insight into readiness of the Federal Government to completing the project, when he met with the Senate committee on local and foreign debt on Thursday, over President Buhari’s request for Senate to approve five point five billion dollars ($5.5b) loan to finance some of the deficits in the 2017 budget.
According to him, 7 coaches are expected to arrive in Nigeria by November this year, and out of the number, 10 will be deployed to the Abuja-Kaduna rail line while the remaining 7 will be deployed to the Itakpe-Warri rail line because of their level of passenger volumes.
Amaechi said part of the money being requested now for approval by the senate is to execute the rail projects covering Kano-kaduna, and Lagos-Ibadan networks.
He informed the Senators that President Buhari’s directive is that all the 36 state capitals of Nigeria must be connected by the ongoing rail projects.
The transport Minister regretted that Nigeria’s ports have become minimally productive because of the absence of rail lines to convey goods from the ports to their various destinations.
He expressed optimism that the situation would be reversed as soon as the rail projects are completed.
Also providing insight into the loan request, the Director General of the debt management office, Patience Oniha, explained that the loans have sustainable benefits that would live beyond the present generation of Nigerians.
Chairman of the senate committee on local and foreign debt, Senator Shehu Sani assured Nigerians that the Legislature will continue to support the Executive in implementing projects that can make positive impacts in the lives of the citizens.
Hem however, urged all the parties concerned to ensure that a thorough job is done with the loans being collected on behalf of the Nigerian public.
Senator Shehu Sani assured Nigerians that the Legislature will continue to support the Executive in implementing projects that can make positive impacts in the lives of the citizens.
He however urged all the parties concerned to ensure that a thorough job is done with the loans being collected on behalf of the Nigerian public.